Post-Cyber Feminist International

Glitch @ Night - BBZ London, photo Mark-Blower, no24Post-Cyber Feminist International, Glitch@Night BBZ London (Photo: Mark Blower)

‘A particularly gendered set of obstacles emerges from the contemporary ubiquity and commodification of the digital sphere. From sexual harassment and privacy to issues surrounding divisions of labour, the progress of gender justice has in some ways failed to keep pace with the dizzying velocity of digital developments. At the same time, new networked technologies have come to dominate the horizons of critical discourse, pushing older and more quotidian devices to the margins of cultural visibility. And yet, these domesticated technologies (from the Hoovers to HRT) continue to exert a shaping influence on many people’s everyday lives. It is critical that feminists find new ways of interrogating technologies in order to forge a radical gender politics fit for an era in which the analogue and the digital are inexorably intertwined’ [ICA]

Black Feminism and Post-Cyber Feminism, photoMark-Blower, no27Black Feminism and Post-Cyber Feminism (Photo: Mark Blower)

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From Our Archive: Nisi Shawl

This article first appeared in Vector 247.

Colourful Stories

Fantastic Fiction by African Descended Authors, by Nisi Shawl

Everfair coverSo rich a sea, so broad the currents … in exploring fantastic literature by African-descended authors, where do we start?

“Begin at the beginning” is standard advice for writers. “Begin where you are” is more my style. Where I am at the moment, where I’ve been most of my life, is North America. Though I know there are many other schools of African-descended writers out there, myriad fabulists swimming in gorgeous array, I’m at my best talking about those with whom I’ve had the most contact, those about whom I have something substantial to say: those who inhabit the Western Hemisphere. In the course of this essay, then, I’ll focus on “New World” writers of fantastic fiction whose ancestors came from Africa. I’ll talk about specific works by them and also touch…

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The Milford Write Up for 2017

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Contributors: Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Dolly Garland, Mark Isles and Steph Bianchini

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Setting: Trigonos Centre, Nantlle Valley, Wales
In the beautiful Trigonos centre, under the cover of clouds and rains and occasional bursts of sunshine, fifteen writers gathered together for one week of respite from the regular world. It is understood that most of what happens in Trigonos, stays in Trigonos. But for posterity purposes and for future generations we write this report to give a flavour of some of the things that transpired at Milford 2017. We thank Val Nolan for (unwittingly) donating his story-style for the creation of this document.

Dolly Garland (First generation recipient of the writers of colour bursary & all-around troublemaker): When a fellow Milfordian you’ve never met agrees to give you a lift from London and willing to spend four plus hours in a car with you, you know these folks are all right. Or…

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Live Blogging from Milford: Friday 15th September – 5.30 p.m.

Good bye to Trigonos and the Milford family…

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Jacey Bedford

This will probably be my last live blog from Milford for this year. The hard work is over. Today we’ve been to Caernarfon for a mooch around the castle and lunch at the Anglesea Arms. Though the weather forecast was not great there was only one short shower and this afternoon the sun came out.

caernarfon-2This was Suyi’s first look at a proper British castle and he took masses of photos and got a quick history lesson from Terry to put it into context.

Lunch was delightful. On short notice they shoved tables together to accommodate all of us and we (nearly) all chose meat of some kind. Several people had the burgers. I had gammon, Terry had lamb shank. After a week of healthy eating and set menus we really enjoyed the variety. Though we resisted pudding.

We had a quick race round the shops after lunch…

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Live Blogging from Milford: Wednesday 13th September – 9.30 a.m.

The gathered presence of the 2017 Milford group!

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Jacey Bedford

One day slides into the next… and suddenly it’s Wednesday. How did that happen? Yesterday we reached the halfway point on crits, so we have only another two days to go, another ten pieces to crit, with sixteen pieces completed already.

Panorama Tuesday

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Live blogging from Milford 2017: Tuesday 12th September – 11.50 a.m.

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Sue Oke

Looking out from my window, at the mountains beyond the trees, I realise just how much I love being here at Trigonos. The Milford experience is one to treasure. This is my fourth time as a participant, so I know what to expect. It’s great re-connecting with such wonderful writers. A reflective morning of writing is bolstered by breakfast conversations around mind control (well, we are speculative fiction writers). Now I have a precious couple of hours to work on my own writing, before turning my attention to the main focus of being here: the afternoon critiquing sessions. That can be quite intense, but also incredibly professional and supportive. And there’s chocolate too. There’s no substitute for the level of in-depth and insightful comments you receive from a group like this. Ah, here comes the rain again. Well, it is September in Wales. And yes, it’s also quite…

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Live blogging from Milford 2017: Tuesday 12th September – 9.30 a.m.

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Jacey Bedford

Milford day four. Tuesday morning and it’s raining again. We often get rain in September (this is North Wales after all) but it’s been pretty relentless so far; not heavy (mostly) but persistent, with few breaks. As I type, another shower has started, pattering on my window. The stream which runs down behind the Plas (main house) is no longer simply burbling, it’s rushing, shooting over its rocky bed into miniature waterfalls and rapids before emptying out into the lake, Llyn Nantlle.

Breakfast this morning was a mixture of people looking stupefied (me amongst them) while Matt and Steph had a deep conversation about the modern state of being, virtual reality, and the singularity. All I could think was, ‘This is a nice banana.’

We have a long critique session this afternoon, with six pieces to put through the grinder instead of five, so we’ve asked for lunch…

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Live blogging from Milford 2017: Monday 11th September – 11.55 a.m.

Here I am at Milford and loving every moment – writing and critiquing in a beautiful setting amongst professional writers, who are also great people!

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Jacey Bedford Writes:

Milford rainMilford is here again. The week in September when 15 writers of science fiction and fantasy gather in a not-so-secret location in Wild Welsh Wales to eat chocolate and critique each others’ pieces of fiction. North Wales is living up to its reputation so far. This was the view from my bedroom window this morning. It’s pretty but wet. Or maybe that should be pretty wet.

Several of us had complicated journeys to get here. One cancelled plane, some missed connections and horrendous traffic jams. I drove from Birdsedge (a tiny village on the eastern edge of the Pennines) intending to pick up Terry at her house in Lymm by 11.00. I have to cross the hills via the Woodhead Pass and unfortunately there had been an accident which had closed the road. Traffic was therefore all heading for Holmfirth to try and get over the moors…

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Of Course I Got It Right by Ben Jeapes

Interesting stuff! And who doesn’t want to be proved right?

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Everyone likes to be right. When that rightness can be traced back to luck and a bit of intuition – or, if you like, pure accident – then it’s even better.

new-world-orderThe contention of The New World Order, though its seventeenth century characters lack the vocabulary and scientific knowledge to work it out, is that around 35,000 BC the majority of a subspecies of the genus Homo disappeared through a wormhole into a parallel Earth. The few that remained soon died out in our world altogether, leaving only tantalising mythological hints, until in the nineteenth century some of their skeletons were discovered and identified in Germany’s Neander valley (or, in German, “Neander thal”). I see you’ve got it.

The ones who left develop a civilisation parallel to ours, in fact slightly ahead, so that when in our seventeenth century they find a way back to this world, calling themselves the Holekhor, they are at…

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Why everyone should be a science fiction fan, by Ben Jeapes

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Giles Coren’s first and so far only novel, Winkler, was published in 2005. He got a £30k advance, it was slated in reviews, it won a Bad Sex Award, and combined hardback and paperback sales barely nudged the 1000 mark. He retired hurt, not to mention baffled, and stuck to non-fiction.

GilesCoren-failed bookTen years later he felt brave enough to make a documentary about it. Links have changed since I first saw it, but search “Giles Coren my failed novel” and you’ll find it. It’s really quite touching as you see the penny begin to drop. He speaks to the reviewers who had slated it. He listens in on a book club tearing it apart. He takes the first chapters to a creative writing course workshop. He tries rereading it himself and finds it unbearable. (He can’t get through the Bad Sex Award-winning passage without breaking down into laughter.) He…

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